Joshua Ho-Sang is the much maligned New York Islanders first round draft pick in 2014. After a successful year with the Niagara IceDogs it’s time for him to take a step up.
New York Islanders prospect Joshua Ho-Sang had a great year with the Niagara Ice Dogs with 19 goals and 63 assist for 82 points. He had another 26 points as the IceDogs advanced to the OHL finals, only to get swept by the London Knights.
The 20-year-old has been making strides year-after-year playing in the OHL. Scoring 80+ points over the last three seasons. But these strides haven’t come without a significant setback.
We all remember the alarm clock debacle that cost Ho-Sang his spot in the Islanders training camp in 2015. Ho-Sang overslept and missed the first day of Islanders training camp, prompting GM Garth Snow to immediately send him back to the Niagara IceDogs.
Ho-Sang later responded that the experience was truly “embarrassing” and that he should probably start setting an alarm more often, rather than letting hotel staff or teammates act as his alarm clock.
It’s assumed that Ho-Sang will again report to the New York Islanders training camp again this year. And again, it’s assumed that he won’t be sleeping-in this time. The question then remains, could he actually earn a post on the main roster?
Ho-Sang’s Spot in the Roster
With Kyle Okposo likely on his way out through free agency, a spot in the Islanders depth chart opens up on the right wing. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t competition for the spot.
At right-wing the Islanders depth chart currently outnumbers the number of spots available. All of Mikhail Grabovski, Nikolai Kulemin, Josh Bailey, Cal Clutterbuck, Matt Martin, Ryan Strome and Steve Bernier are listed in some capacity as able to play at right-wing.
That’s seven players for four spots. Just looking at that list it becomes evident that Ho-Sang could likely start next season playing in Bridgeport rather than Brooklyn. Ho-Sang needs to have a fantastic training camp and preseason if he hopes to steal a place from either and invest in an alarm clock.
Competition at the Right
Both Matt Martin and Cal Clutterbuck form two-thirds of the best fourth line in hockey. This won’t likely be broken up if Martin remains with the team. That means the fourth line is spoken for on the right, and that either would take the position on the left of the fourth line, freeing up a spot on the depth chart. Dropping the list to six.
Steve Bernier is a pending UFA that the Islanders aren’t likely to sign for the 2016-17 season. The former first-round draft choice played a total of 24 regular season games in an Islanders uniform and contributed six points. That takes another name off the list, and it’s down to five.
Ryan Strome will likely continue to be groomed into a center and left at the position either on the second or third line, depending what happens with pending UFA Frans Nielsen.
Kulemin should end up on the top line alongside Tavares, and Bailey should continue to play on the second line. Leaving only Mikhail Grabovski in the depth chart as seemingly direct competition for the young Ho-Sang.
There’s no guarantee that Ho-Sang could beat out Grabovski for a spot on the roster, but the German’s $5 million cap hit would indicate otherwise. Trading the 32-year-old Grabovski is a possibility, but Ho-Sang would have to prove a lot in order to have Snow try and move that contract.
It looks increasingly likely that Ho-Sang will report to the New York Islanders affiliate in Bridgeport. But in the unfortunate event of an injury Ho-Sang would likely be one of the first names called up to the big club.